Letter to President von der Leyen: A Solidarity Fund for Performers

Dear President von der Leyen,
Dear Commissioner Gabriel,

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all countries in Europe, and it is already evident that performers have been heavily impacted with film and TV production as well as recording sessions coming to a halt, venues closed and performances and festivals cancelled. Performers, who are often in an already precarious situation being mostly self-employed or freelancers, combined with little or no access to social benefits, are now left without income.

Moreover, with the closing of shops, restaurants and other public places, collection of statutory remuneration for the use of recorded music and audiovisual works will drastically decrease and performers will be deprived of this important source of income in the coming months.

This situation, in addition to be specially alarming, is unfair, as in these confinement days their performances are bringing joy and entertainment to the millions of people confined at their homes, generating a huge income stream for certain digital platforms, most of them not even based in the EU. In other words, the only ones that are not benefiting from the mass consumption of audiovisual and music contents during the confinement are, precisely, the performers, one of the social groups most vulnerable to the economic crisis derived from COVID-19.

Performers’ collective management organisations are working hard in these difficult times to distribute remuneration earlier than originally anticipated and setting aside funds to assist with immediate economic pressures.

However, it is clear that the situation is too grave for performers’ organisations to be able to absorb the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic themselves. Their funds will not be sufficient.

AEPO-ARTIS urges the European Commission and the Member States to take immediate action to support performers in a coordinated manner mitigating the negative economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.

What is therefore urgently needed is easy and swift access to financial support, a Solidarity Fund for Performers, to help them through the hardship caused by this unprecedented crisis to cover costs in the forthcoming weeks and months.

We would welcome an opportunity to discuss the creation of this Solidary Fund with you in further detail. In the meantime, we remain at your disposal should you require any further information and are looking forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Tilo Gerlach
President, AEPO-ARTIS

The letter is available here: AEPO-ARTIS letter to President von der Leyen